If there is a God, why is there evil?

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.

Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post Number:#2326  Postby -1- » August 27th, 2017, 10:07 am

Steve3007 wrote: i)I think a lot of religious people take the view that 4.3 is a necessary consequence of 4.4.

ii) If 4.2 is true, then the only power that God needs to lack in order for evil to exist is the power to dispense with the rules of logic and make the world chaotic and inconsistent. If the universe has to be logically consistent then things that we regard as bad have to happen.

iii) If 4.1 is true but 4.2 is false, then I guess God prefers Order to the absence of evil. Maybe He's Swiss.

i) can be refuted the easiest: there had been suffering and evil way before atheism reared its ugly head.

ii) many have claimed that god in his infinite power, can will to lack some of the powers, temporarily or indefinitely. So you are right in his point.

iii) I think it was God himself who said, in Leviticus 4:29, "Let there be time!! Coo-coo." So you're right again.
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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post Number:#2327  Postby Socrateaze » August 27th, 2017, 10:09 am

-1- wrote:The questions were actually serious... There are two types of humans, one type has a constant dialogue going on in their conscious, and they can only shut it up by meditating. The other kind never thinks in language, and can't meditate.

There have been thinkers who claimed that intelligence and thought are language- and therefore culture dependent. They are convinced that people who don't know any language don't know how to think and reason. This is false, in the case of perhaps everybody (the theory has not been tested) but it is for sure false for those who never need language to think.


Well, yeah, even animals can think and they often outsmart humans with less language. I get where you're coming from. So is religion also a language?
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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post Number:#2328  Postby -1- » August 27th, 2017, 10:12 am

Ranvier wrote:"Evil" is only evil in our selfish perception of our physical reality. If you ask bacteria or snail... well you won't get any answer.
Without "evil" there wouldn't be any evolution of life.

We are here just to learn :)


We are in complete agreement here, Ranvier. (Your preamble having been purged.)

Evil is what one man or tribe does to another. "You are always evil in the eyes of the competing tribe." Germans hated the Russians and the Jews. Americans hated Germans (in wwII.) The protestants in Ireland hate the RC, and the RC hate the protestants. Arabs hate Israelis. Israelis hate the arabs. Pakistanis hate the hindus. Hindus hate the pakistanis.

A mole or a sea-urchin has no hate in his heart for Jews, Pakistanis, Arabs.

-- Updated 2017 August 27th, 10:14 am to add the following --

Socrateaze wrote:
-1- wrote:The questions were actually serious... There are two types of humans, one type has a constant dialogue going on in their conscious, and they can only shut it up by meditating. The other kind never thinks in language, and can't meditate.

There have been thinkers who claimed that intelligence and thought are language- and therefore culture dependent. They are convinced that people who don't know any language don't know how to think and reason. This is false, in the case of perhaps everybody (the theory has not been tested) but it is for sure false for those who never need language to think.


Well, yeah, even animals can think and they often outsmart humans with less language. I get where you're coming from. So is religion also a language?


Thanks for the question... religion is many things... mostly useful. It's all in my book, which I can't advertise here, for fear of breaking the rules.
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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post Number:#2329  Postby Socrateaze » August 27th, 2017, 10:15 am

-1- wrote:Socrateaze, the question was off-topic.

Evil: I already had my say in this topic. I'll repeat it for your sake:

1. Assumed that god is infinitely good.
2. Assumed that god is infinitely powerful.
3. Therefore evil and suffering ought not to be present in this world.
4. Therefore something has to give:
4.1. Maybe god is not infinitely good.
4.2. Maybe god is not infinitely powerful.
4.3. Maybe there is no evil and suffering in this world; it just seem so to us.
4.4. God does not exist in the first place

I find 4.4. most plausible,and 4.3. the least acceptable.

-- Updated 2017 August 27th, 9:48 am to add the following --

Steve3007 wrote:(Nested quote removed.)


If this is true, then perhaps the second kind are actually constantly in the state of mind that the first kind seek to achieve by meditating. One hand clapping, 24/7. If so, I suspect that the second kind are happier.


Does a tree make a sound when it falls in the forest?

Can a person measure up whether he is happier than the next person?

And I am sure the meditation only feels happy because it's relaxing. If someone keeps on relaxing all the time, then to him happiness will be excitement and action.

Also, those who don't think in words, still constantly think. They can't shut the thought process down. Only when they are asleep and dream are they at rest from thinking.

-- Updated 2017 August 27th, 9:52 am to add the following --

Socrateaze wrote:What is the most you ever have accomplished with an electronic device in your dream?

I zapped myself once with my electric blanket when I had a wet dream.


I can't be clearer on this. 4.3 is almost correct, but not quite; you should have a 4.3.1: The laws of the universe exist and we do not accept them, but rather create stories to explain them. I still believe there is no good and evil, because that would mean some guy in the sky had actually created this mess. I wish we had a psychologist in our group to break this down.

-- Updated August 27th, 2017, 10:17 am to add the following --

You zapped yourself with your eclectic blanket - maybe you should get a girlfriend.

-- Updated August 27th, 2017, 10:25 am to add the following --

-1-

Thanks for the question... religion is many things... mostly useful. It's all in my book, which I can't advertise here, for fear of breaking the rules.


Well, the question was more rhetorical in an attempt to move the conversation forward. Another question arises from this line of thinking; is language always sufficient? People DO seem to go around in circles at times. Perhaps we should start a philosophy forum called "The Circle of Philosophy Forum." We can all move around in groups as if we were at Mecca, because isn't that what we're doing venerating our ignorance?
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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post Number:#2330  Postby -1- » August 27th, 2017, 10:31 am

Socrateaze wrote:I still believe there is no good and evil, because that would mean some guy in the sky had actually created this mess. I wish we had a psychologist in our group to break this down.

Done deal. Please see post #2328 in this thread. Evil and good are concepts to keep psychological pressure on people for the purposes of society. So they are both evolutionary advantages to have.

Socrateaze wrote:You zapped yourself with your eclectic blanket - maybe you should get a girlfriend.

Have you ever had a boyfriend?

Have you ever been zapped by him? (As a manner of speaking.)

Which one was more painful? The zap by the blanket, or the zap by the boyfriend?
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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post Number:#2331  Postby Socrateaze » August 27th, 2017, 10:39 am

-1- wrote:
Socrateaze wrote:I still believe there is no good and evil, because that would mean some guy in the sky had actually created this mess. I wish we had a psychologist in our group to break this down.

Done deal. Please see post #2328 in this thread. Evil and good are concepts to keep psychological pressure on people for the purposes of society. So they are both evolutionary advantages to have.

Socrateaze wrote:You zapped yourself with your eclectic blanket - maybe you should get a girlfriend.

Have you ever had a boyfriend?

Have you ever been zapped by him? (As a manner of speaking.)

Which one was more painful? The zap by the blanket, or the zap by the boyfriend?


I don't need to read post #2328 - it sounds like I would agree with it in anyway. :wink:

I've had too many boyfriends, but I must admit that it is quite fun when you add some pain. :!: I once had a boyfriend that was into heavy masochism and tied weights around his.... yeah. But this talk will get us into trouble on the forum. So let's try to stick to the topic.
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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post Number:#2332  Postby Ranvier » August 27th, 2017, 10:42 am

I'd say this:

It's almost... no I'm not even going to beat around the bush... It's irrational to thing that there is no "Energy" = God since the Universe exists and so are we.
The problem is in the struggle... war... more irrational thinking? In having audacity to think that ANY human has any idea what Energy = God is.
Theists perceive God one way in their specific religion, Atheists have the...whatever they have.

The only logical thing to do is to have an open mind to all knowledge and continue to learn... Period!

-- Updated August 27th, 2017, 10:43 am to add the following --

*Irrational to think

-- Updated August 27th, 2017, 10:44 am to add the following --

*so do we
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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post Number:#2333  Postby Socrateaze » August 27th, 2017, 11:15 am

Ranvier wrote:I'd say this:

It's almost... no I'm not even going to beat around the bush... It's irrational to thing that there is no "Energy" = God since the Universe exists and so are we.
The problem is in the struggle... war... more irrational thinking? In having audacity to think that ANY human has any idea what Energy = God is.
Theists perceive God one way in their specific religion, Atheists have the...whatever they have.

The only logical thing to do is to have an open mind to all knowledge and continue to learn... Period!

-- Updated August 27th, 2017, 10:43 am to add the following --

*Irrational to think

-- Updated August 27th, 2017, 10:44 am to add the following --

*so do we



It is good to continue to learn as long as we don't run in circles. Maybe we're spiraling out to a greater truth, but we're forever running in circles. It's simpler to suspend with the terminology we created and begin with reality. One should not dress god up and play dollhouse.
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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post Number:#2334  Postby PlatoJose » September 24th, 2017, 6:21 am

Floyd wrote:If there is a God, why is there evil? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is there so much needless suffering in the world, from natural disasters and such? Why would a loving God do this?


This is the most human question that could be asked.

I think Benjamin Perlin, in A Nature Reflected: Philosophical Notes for My Children (on the Amazon Kindle bookstore), answers it effectively:

The end signified is completely good, the unqualified version of the nature we wish Yeezus had more of and which you can almost touch in Francis of Assisi. If she were to do anything differently than she does it would be a change for the worse.
This raises a problem. First of all, the doctrine of original sin should have died in the womb. Jesus was above it. It's not the baby's fault the dinosaurs died but the high-born crawler and the terrible lizards stand together for a minute: our experience projects the objective sign that is the collective will for better or for worse. She is perceived as suffering for us, realizing every bad fact as a natural thought, but nobody feels a real natural disaster.
Every time a child is hurt this is the worst of all possible worlds. But that's just bleeding-heart talk, isn't it? However bad things get, one need only hack through another foot of self-erected jungle to find the horror Colonel Kurtz speaks of: chaos theory, paralysis in practice.
The lamp-headed response is to plug one's ears and hum the Smurfs theme. One is dampered to find Heraclitus saying, "To God all things are beautiful and good and just, but men have supposed some things to be unjust, others just." Leibniz sings a rose-colored tune in the only book he published: ignorance and illogicality hinder finite minds like ours from seeing the interconnection of all things, in virtue of which the replacement of the Killing Fields with conservatories would have brought with it antecedents and consequents implying a change in the whole for the worse. The idiocy of this man at times. Things are as bad as they look to those of us outside the Herrenhausen Gardens.
Yes, light stands out in darkness and a grinning Mona Lisa would have been unfortunate; a bouncing babe does not need a Nazi to throw her. I don't deny acts of valor their due but 'good' that needs evil is a lesser of two species. Heil the woolen angel at the center of the new world who elects not to stay even one raised hand.
Stalwart moral skeptic J. L. Mackie ("There are no moral values"; ethics is invented) gave a deductive argument that shall illustrate the problem on our hands openly. The following are obviously true:
• What's completely good does away with as much bad as it can.
• What's completely powerful can do anything.
So it's impossible for something that knows everything to be completely good and powerful while there's anything bad:
• If something completely good were to coexist with badness, it would have to lack the power to do away with it.

• If something completely powerful were to coexist with badness, it would have to want it there.

• If something were completely good and powerful, we wouldn't have a problem (namely, pain).

The argument is sound. Its implicit premises and logic are true so its conclusions are. Yet Mackie goes on to say, "Trot out the scarecrow": he's concerned with traditional Western conceptions of God, which he generously sweeps under the heading 'theology'. So when a witness for the defense flew in a pizza monster with enough muscles to handle a badd onion and every other logically handy evil, Mackie mumbled a **** you and conceded the logical compatibility of its omnipotence and complete benevolence. (Alvin Plantinga argued that the Biblical conception of God as possessing these qualities is logically consistent.)
That black crow does not jet, for she does not satisfy Mackie's postulation of omnipotence. The nil to power. It was never knowledge and that one nature has nothing to budge. Not that she is alone, as the purpose of the other selves there. There is no variety among these latter omniscient and self-crafted wallflowers. This finite number of objects is reality.
The muddle-headed use of the word "infinite" in theology goes hand in hand with "omnipotent". Bandiers of the former don't think God is Hitler, so it's not meant literally. Infinitely good, powerful, and knowledgeable? Why not just say so? Too few gooseys.
Ours is not a Barbie and Ken world. Neither can do wrong by you; neither can make do. With right comes a choice (one infinity of preoccupied Kanes reflected in two mirrors or the voyager beyond the infinite who leans into his own eyes in 2001?); good requires the possibility of evil, which is an abstention or muffling of good. The necessity of the horror is a logical one. You can lift a leaf that nature cannot but that doesn't make her a weakling; it makes our thought bear the weight of being thought. No one has ever conceived a contradiction. A is A and not not-A, to be and not to be is nothing to us, and a self cannot necessarily evolve.
This topic hits close to home and empiricists jump in at the heels, categorizing sub-species of evil and saying, "My good man, you know that is most likely not true (meaning your mother sucks cocks in hell)" to such possibilities as a dragon falling from the firmament. Maybe he was a covering law for the constant injunction to bite the dust. When Mackie was still arguing for the logical impossibility of theology, he challenged a conception that is no more free will than a Nazi android is murderous:
If God has made men such that in their free choices they sometimes prefer what is good and sometimes what is evil, why could he not have made men such that they always freely choose the good? God was not faced with a choice between making innocent automata and making beings who, in acting freely, would sometimes go wrong [since beings who freely always go right isn't logically impossible.].

But in "A makes B such that it only does what is good" there's no analytical elbow room to replace "it only does" with "she can only will". I read an article recently that said, "Individuals could have free will but not have the [metaphysical] power to torture and murder others." Then it wouldn't be free will now, would it? Don't answer that. Dictionaries are written in cop-out killing lead.
I never used to find arguments for a good God based on the quality of the world convincing, and it wasn't just because you weren't here yet. But I've noticed a surprising consistency among many reports from those who have almost died. Bodily death does not seem to be the end to them. What follows is public in nature. Let us call confirmation bias where we see it but let us be objective. It isn't described in the good book and its witnesses often aren't churchgoers. (My best friend, who considers himself a devout atheist, agrees.) If one prefers, she might simply regard it as K, in the style of Wittgenstein's friend Frank Ramsey (whose brother attested to Ramsey's "readiness to respect mysticism as an empirical phenomenon"), and withhold further supposition.
A.J. Ayer (1910-1989) saw it. In him one finds no flashes of intelligence but an attractive vigor and directness. He clicked his red heels at the opportunity to be the post-Russellian poster boy for British empiricism, heralding ethical emotivism ("Throwing babies out windows is bad" translates to "throwing babies out windows-no!") and the then new atheism.
His unverifiable experience ("My thoughts became persons") was unpleasant and sensational. Graham Macdonald, writing for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, reacts with daring assumptions: "On reviving he reported his experience whilst ‘dead’ in such a way as to provide fodder for those who thought the famous atheist had recanted and found God. He moved quickly to dispel these rumours." ¿Qué? So assured are the faithful. Ayer's 'dispelling' (of an obviously sincere report), written "not primarily to retract anything", must have squashed the least suspicion of anything untoward. As he clarifies, it was his inflexible denial of life after bodily death that was weakened, not his conviction thereof.
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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post Number:#2335  Postby Atreyu » September 25th, 2017, 6:32 pm

To get back to the OP, perhaps a better question would be: Why would there not be evil if there is a God?

I could run with this topic if somebody here, such as the OP, could answer that question intelligently....
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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post Number:#2336  Postby LuckyR » September 26th, 2017, 3:22 am

Atreyu wrote:To get back to the OP, perhaps a better question would be: Why would there not be evil if there is a God?

I could run with this topic if somebody here, such as the OP, could answer that question intelligently....


Well, considering that evil (and good, for that matter) is completely separate from the presence or absence of a god, the premise and thus the thread is somewhere between silly and meaningless.

Why not a thread on: If there is baseball, why is there lasagna?
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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post Number:#2337  Postby Atreyu » September 26th, 2017, 3:58 pm

LuckyR wrote:Well, considering that evil (and good, for that matter) is completely separate from the presence or absence of a god, the premise and thus the thread is somewhere between silly and meaningless.

Why not a thread on: If there is baseball, why is there lasagna?


I'm guessing that the original idea is that "God is good", meaning "all good", as in God cannot do any evil; and God is also "omnipotent", all-powerful. So why is there evil in the Universe? Or even, how could there be evil in the Universe?

And my argument would be to question both of those two principles. The reason for the apparent problem is simply that people have a quite sentimental, and false, view of "God"...
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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post Number:#2338  Postby Steve3007 » September 27th, 2017, 1:39 pm

LuckyR:
If there is baseball, why is there lasagna?


I've heard that there have historically been quite a few Italian American baseball players, Joe DiMaggio being perhaps the most famous example. These are people who would, if they weren't spending all their time playing baseball (can you see where I'm going with this?), be making lasagna and possibly other Italian food. So perhaps it's not such a stupid question.

Atreyu:
To get back to the OP, perhaps a better question would be: Why would there not be evil if there is a God?

I could run with this topic if somebody here, such as the OP, could answer that question intelligently....


If there is a God there would not be evil because God is good and He wants everything else to be good too. If He doesn't stop bad stuff from happening even though He's perfectly capable of doing so then he's very naughty. And God, being absolutely Good, cannot be even a little bit naughty. That's how this whole "problem of evil" thing goes doesn't it?
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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post Number:#2339  Postby Belindi » September 27th, 2017, 1:51 pm

Steve wrote:

If there is baseball, why is there lasagna?(Lucky_R)


I've heard that there have historically been quite a few Italian American baseball players, Joe DiMaggio being perhaps the most famous example. These are people who would, if they weren't spending all their time playing baseball (can you see where I'm going with this?), be making lasagna and possibly other Italian food. So perhaps it's not such a stupid question.


Yes. All the answers to the problem of evil that God-believers should be burdened with are rationalisations of what is an intractable problem.
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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post Number:#2340  Postby Atreyu » September 27th, 2017, 8:45 pm

LuckyR wrote:If there is a God there would not be evil because God is good and He wants everything else to be good too. If He doesn't stop bad stuff from happening even though He's perfectly capable of doing so then he's very naughty. And God, being absolutely Good, cannot be even a little bit naughty. That's how this whole "problem of evil" thing goes doesn't it?


Yes, I guess that's how it works.

My position is that God (assuming one) would not be "good" or "bad". Nor omnipotent. She would simply be a lot more powerful and intelligent than humans, that's all, and that can be assumed by definition.
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